Ok, I just got home from the trip and I still need to adapt after being on the road for 3 months on the bike… Not sure if I actually really want to be home though… But since I’m here now I will share some pictures from the last days. As you can see I also fixed the “ballroom” for the bike…
The 10 minute movie about the whole Balkan trip you can see here:
Some facts & figures about the 3 months trip, both on the DRZ and the BMW…
Total distance driven on the bike: 20.782km (this is half the world my friends!)
Bribes: 0 (I should get a medal for this!)
Police stops: 2 (Transnistria & Bosnia)
Fines: Switserland (still need to get it) and Bosnia (talked my way out of it)
Countries visited: 30
Border Inspections: 0
Got a free Moldova sticker from the border guard there and the same happened in Croatia
Times lost: hmmm… none I would say
Cheapest fuel: Russia (0,75€)
Most expensive fuel: Norway (2,2€) – no surprise here…
Cheapest paid accommodation: Macedonia
Most expensive paid accommodation: again, no surprise: Norway
Most difficult borders: Transnistria followed by Russia
Countries I liked a lot: difficult one; but I would say Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Bosnia, …
Places that I liked a lot: Sarajevo (BiH), Belgrade (SRB), Ohrid (MK), Sint Petersburg (RUS)…
Place I didn’t like: Greece (no surprise here)
Best experience: Lake Komani (Albania)
Paid/free accommodation: 63/37%
Total money spent: well this is a tricky one, but I managed to survive and travel for 3 months for less than 50€ a day, all-in (fuel, food, accommodation & souvenirs)
Problems with the bikes: (Suzuki DRZ400 and BMWR1200GSA)
Brake disks changed in Belgium
Lightbulb changed in Greece
Chain & sprockets changed in Finland
Engine blow-up in Romania (bike home on trailer)
Nail in rear tyre in Albania, fixed it in Kosovo
Battery dead in Slovenia (replaced)
Problems with the drive shaft in Slovenia (replaced)
Pannier broke in Bosnia after fall (fixed it on site)
Got my cookingstuff and spare parts stolen in Ukraine
I probably forgot a lot of things, but I think that a lot has been said and otherwise you’re not going to read this anyway!
Then, I would like to thank all the people I met on my way, YOU WERE ALL GREAT! I enjoyed our meetings, conversations, time together, basically just being in your company. I am glad I talked to all of you, as you all had something interesting to share and so I was never really alone… the world is not as scary as many of you think, or maybe I am just lucky to dodge and avoid all the bad places and people? Anyways,
Actually the tv crew was for the homecoming of the Serbian olympic team. Damn, they know how to throw a party/venue for them. The whole city was on it’s head with fireworks and flags and stuff… It was bigger than our new year or 21st of July.
From Belgrade I went back into Bosnia as I like the place as a matter of fact. Great for riding, just need to dodge the cops with speeding camera’s all over the place. Went to see a few places of interests and then continued into Croatia. The idea was to have a stop at the seaside somewhere and to stay there for a day. Couldn’t find a place that was not overcrowded with tourists so I gave up and decided to go back to a place I liked where I stayed earlier. So back up to Kranj at the nice hostel of Peter. He was really surprised to see me back and we had a good laugh. Although the last few hours I spend driving in the rain. I met these french guys who are walking and parapenting all the way. They just walk up a mountain and then fly as far as they can and start walking again to the next mountain… how cool is that! Today I will go back into the Slovenian, Austrian and Italian mountains for the last few days.
I left Greece “as quick as I could” as I just don’t like the place. Yep, I know some will call me crazy, but then some of you don’t like Germany and I do… I arrived in Plovdiv, the second biggest city of Bulgaria. The outskirts are like all cities (in Eastern EU) grey, dull and boring. But the old town is really nice and lively. Again a good find and again I should have stayed a day more than I did. If there’s only one lesson for me to be learned about this trip (and I mean the whole 3 months) then it’s that I need to go a bit slower sometimes and stay a bit longer in places I like, and not rush to the next point. But then that’s my problem, I always want to go further and farther beyond the horizon as fast as I can… need to change that for the next big trip! For now, the coolest picture playing around with the bike offroad:
So Plovdiv, nice hostel I stayed, good food and not expensive. Next day to Sofia where I couchsurfed again. They had an antique flea market with a lot of nazi and soviet stuff. Some was fake, some was real. And yes I bought something, but I can’t tell you what it is at the moment as it has to be a surprise for Kim also. What I also bought was some real home made honey in a small village in the mountains where there was a small market going on. Since I was the only non-Bulgarian walking around I was the attraction of the day…
From Sofia I went into Serbia and arrived in Belgrade. You know, the big, bad, mean Belgrade that the US bombed a few years ago? Well it’s a cool city, that’s my opinion. And what’s more, is that the Americans just have their embassy right across the street where they bombed a few buildings to scrap… Talking about being hypocrite… ?!
Oh yes, apparently they knew I was coming so they got all the TV crew ready for me…
hmmmm… I really need to think what happend these last few days as I didn’t have any internet and was to busy with other things so didn’t write anything down.
O yes, the tire. So, somewhere after the busboat and the border with Kosovo I got nailed… hehe… well the rear tyre did. I saw it when fueling that I had a big and nasty nail in the tyre. Left it there, thinking that I would find a fix for it in Prishtina. I finally found a place where they could fix this, we agreed that they would take everything off and fix it from the inside out. I get 3 mechanics all for myself! And when the bill comes I’m even more happy… 5€ for 2 hours work… and the nail I took with me as a souvenir, 8cm long!
The new Ferrari and Lamborghini are to be seen here in the streets:
Ride of the Valkyries anyone?
I found what looked like a really interesting and promising road on my map, but as there was no marking if I could cross the border through this road, I searched for a police station asking them if they would be so kind as to call the border station commander and ask if I could pass there with a Belgian passport and bike. Nope was the answer, so I’m glad I only ‘wasted’ half an hour to figure this out instead of a whole day going up and down a road that would inevitably lead me to nowhere.
So I go back to Albania to go south and enter FYROM from there. I thought I could easely make it all the way to Ohrid, my next stop. I finally crossed the border after 8pm and was to tired to continue. O and I don’t have a headlight anymore as it just went dead somewhere in Kosovo… it’s always something… Anyways, the reason for going so slow is that the road on the map is nowhere near the road in reality and that it’s just impossible to drive faster than 50 on that “road” for various reasons, being there are no signs and my map sucks, there is sometimes just no road anymore, sometimes the road is just “under construction” and when there are signs I am probably too stupid to understand what they say…
What you also see a lot are these small one person bunkers… they constructed 700.000 of them scattered all across the country! Macedonia-FYROM is another pleasant surprise, but they are also divided into muslims and orthodox, so depending what town you ride in you just know what religion is king here.
I spent the rest of the day in Ohrid, walking around, doing nothing at “the beach” but enjoying the sun and my book. (that now I remember I’ve already read long time ago). At the place where I stay there’s also a German couple, but they are cycling through some parts of the Balkans, we start talking and in the end we ended up talking all evening. At night I go to a Jazz bar where there’s a live band performing, it was a perfect day! As I only slept for a few hours I am seriously thinking of spending one more day here, but I decide not to, to continue to Thessaloniki in Greece and to stay there for two nights. A few hours later I arrive and before I realize it I’m off again as I don’t like the place at all. Just go further east… But then all of a sudden it starts raining and thundering again and I’m falling in a really bad mood and decide promptly to skip my plan to go to Istanbul and just head north again, direction of Bulgaria. I think it’s because I had such a good time the last two weeks in the whole region, that I just really don’t like Greece and that it won’t be bad to arrive a day or two earlier home… I stop in Serres which is rather nice, nothing to see, but a nice ‘vibe’. Tomorrow I will probably go to Plovdiv and the day after to Sofia…
The next morning I first take some time off at the beach. I’m there before 9 and stayed until almost noon, thinking that the sun wouldn’t be that hard at that time… wrong thinking, the UV is do high that I get burned… Temperatures are so high again that I can’t force myself anymore to put all my gear on and I decide to drive in shorts and t-shirt. What a great feeling! It’s still hot hot hot but it’s already a bit more bearable now without the bike pants and protectionvest. Some more views from Montenegro:
I still have time today so I take a detour to Albania through a small mountain road before arriving in Shkoder at around 1630. At the 4 star hotel, I get in the lobby and I’m thinking, this is way above my budget, but I’ll ask the price anyway. It’s 1500Lek, which is about 11€ for a night. Hell yeah! A 4 star hotel and guarded parking for 11€, let’s do it! I should have known that there would be a catch… It’s the Russian style; once you get out the elevator on your floor it goes from 4 stars to one. I don’t really care as the bike is safe and I have a bed. I meet in the lobby with some soon to be new friends: a French guy, a Polish, a Swiss, a Liechtensteiner and an Asutrian Girl. We go together to the Rozafa castle by taxi. We first ask an Albanian in the street what it would cost, so the cabdriver can’t cheat us. We get at the castle and get some great views and the entrance fee is only 1,5€ pp.
Sabrina tells us that she’s going to take a boat trip the next day from Komani to Fierze, it should be something great that last for 3 hours and goes all along mountains. We all decide to go with her, since we haven’t really planned anything and so the happy bunch stays together for another few hours. As I am the only one with transportation, I can stay half an hour longer in bed and drive myself to the ferry. They take a minibus which leaves at 6 in the morning, as the ferry leaves at 9. What you also need to know is that I don’t use the GPS anymore and I don’t have a really good detailed map of Albania. So I need to stop and ask directions in every village. The road really suck big time to get there and I just arrive five minutes before departure. They never thought that I would come so everybody is cheerful. When I see the “ferry” I realize that it’s not a ferry but a boat. Now it makes sense why the people all along the road told me ‘no moto’… the ferry is actually a BUS that has been transformed and welded to a boat. It’s unbelievably cool! I’ve never ever seen or heard or read about anything like this. I swear that it’s a bus that they transformed into a busboat. This is the inside:
So I start wondering about the bike, start thinking that I have to go back and the whole shitroad has been for nothing. But then the Albanian guy tells me “no problem” and after some money discussion they take the GSA on board…
This is just incredible! And the busboat ride even more, I don’t regret it for a single minute! I am so glad that tourists haven’t found out about this yet, it would spoil everything! To give you an idea, the normal Albanian price for the ‘ride’ is around 3€ for the 3 hours on board. I paid 20€ for me and the bike and the work to get the bike on and off the busboat. I am sorry to overwhelm you guys with some pictures now, but this has truly been a highlight in my life!
Getting on or off is always a interesting time and you have to know where the “busboat stop” is…
After this there’s a really cool offroad piste to get back to the ‘main’ road as they are building a road to the ferry at this time. It’s only half an hour or so through the mountains to Kosovo. No problems at the border where I purchase insurance for the bike as EU insurances are not covering Kosovo since they are still at war with Serbia… But the Bordercommander is a nice Lieutenant and we get a pic together:
I get to Prishtina taking some detours and I manage to find a bed for 15€ so I decide to go for a walk in the city in the evening to grab some food, I end up eating a kind of kebapmenuthing for 2€… it’s perfect and the price is even more perfect! When I walk back to my sleeping place I hear some really loud Albanian music coming out of a door and I can’t resist to take a sneak-peak… It’s a wedding party! So I am fascinated by this and keep looking and taking a quick picture when a guy comes out and I ask him if it is actually a wedding. We start talking and before I know it I’m inside, sitting at a table drinking and eating and enjoying the music with them! Around midnight I decide that this day has been so fulfilling and with so much excitement that I really need to get going as it’s still half an hour walk to the guest house…
Not to much text this time, I’m exhausted and need some sleep, so more pics and less blabla:
I get to the border in the middle of the mountains between Bosnia and Montenegro where both countries are divided by a river. There’s a ‘bridge’ over it, and that’s the border point. This picture was taken from Montenegro with view on the Bosnian side.
The “wow” effect that I had in Slovenia and afterwards in Croatia is coming up again in Montenegro. Maybe I am jut lucky with the roads I’ve chosen (in the meantime I found local good quality roadmaps so no more road secrets for me!) but this one is just completely breathtaking!
On my way down to the south I see some ruins from an old castle/fortress on a hill and I am interested to get there. There’s a sign that shows “the way”. Afterwards I’ll know that it’s a walking trail. I did it with the bike… The expression on the face of these two experienced walkers when I got there with the bike was priceless. It was extremely cool but I almost did it in my pants going up and down again on this path with the heavy GSA. You’ll see it when the movie is finished as it was impossible to stop to take pictures of me on the bike here. But the view was worth it (again):
I meet up with Vic again after doing another part of a beautiful road, since he waited a bit for me to catch up with him before we would enter Bosnia together and continue together for the journey. We arrive at a bordercrossing between Croatia and Bosnia but the Croat wouldn’t let us pass… we need to go to a bigger bordercrossing where they have a computer to check us out… So we do this. When we arrive, it takes like not even 5 minutes and I’m in! But there’s a problem with Vic. He needs to put his back aside and follow the police inside. After waiting 15 minutes I’m getting curious about the problem and ask what is wrong. Apparently Vic’s passport is flagged by interpol… The story is as follows: he lost his pasport went to the police, they flagged it, he got a new one, he found his old one back, didn’t report it to the police and got all his visa’s in it without a problem… ?! Now in this place with just a container and interpol access, he’s really taken aside, as they confiscate his passport and he just gets a letter that we don’t understand and he needs te get back home for a new one… bye bye of months of planning his adventure, as he would have gone all the way to Bangkok. So Vic is turning around, going back to Luxemburg and I will continue by myself… as the original plan was. I really feel sorry for him, it’s one of the most disgusting ways I think to have to stop your travelplans.
Some pics from Croatia still:
The border where we couldn’t pass and the one where I got in:
From there on I continue to Mostar, ell known for it’s bridge and the destroying of it during the YU war. Also here in Bosnia, still a lot of place with damage that hasn’t been repaired. I am amazed at this, furthermore because there is a lot of empty housing and buildings everywhere. I don’t even understand why I bother to go to a ho(s)tel since I could have a huge factory plant all for myself…
Somewhere between Mostar and Sarajevo I find this old bridge that is still there as it was when it got blown up in 1943:
It’s terribly hot there, I get 40° and I need to stop way too much to drink. And I’m not drinking, I’m just swallowing whole bottles of water at once. Two months ago I had snow on the bike with -5 and now I have +40… Is a man ever happy anyways about the weather? From there on to Sarajevo! You also need to know that my GPS is worthless in Bosnia, no maps at all and I can’t seem to find a good decent roadmap here, so I just memorize googlemaps and make little drawings where the major cities/places are to try and find my way around. I always wanted to go to sarajevo. Maybe because of everything that happened in the past? Maybe because I just like the name of the city? Well in the end I get there and at first I am a bit disappointed. I’m thinking “what the hell this place sucks!” But then I find this really cool hostel, get a shower talk to the guy who runs it. He looked at me and just said plain in my face: do you work some kind of security or are you a policeman? For a second I just don’t know what to say or how to react. How the hell does he knows that? Well, I just take off for a saturday night walk in Sarajevo on my own. Ok, honestly, this is the BEST place in the world for a drink on a saturday night! I am baffled about the atmosphere here, unbelievable! Amidst buildings that are still not even renovated or anything from the war comes this loud european tunes and vibes, women are njam-njam and way to much macho men walking the street. And in between all these muslims. And then the mosques starts singing for prayer time. So you have the Imam shouting through his mic and then you have tunes from Beyoncé or I don’t know who interfering with this. Crazy. I love it! Next morning I go for a quick walk to see it in daylight and yes, I must say that I really like the old town of Sarajevo. I will be back one day…
Next is through the mountains and the really really small roads and gravelroads and offroad to Montenegro. But first I pass this sign:
I need to think really really hard… but nothing comes to my mind. What the hell is the Republic of Srpska? Basically it is (again-I seem to encounter these frequently) a region that is in Bosnia, but is not really Bosnian… Look it up in google or wikipedia if you’re interested in knowing this. But afterwards I understand why they have different flags than the Bosnian one, they are Serbs living in Bosnia and they still don’t really like eachother. The good thing about traveling without the GPS is that you need a map. You also need people to tell you where to go as in most places I’ve been in Bosnia there are no signs. All these people even point me to more interesting roads that are not on a map. Cool, but it takes forever to get rid of these really nice and talkative guys (even if I don’t understand what they are talking about) but also to get anywhere for that matter. But then these pictures were certainly worth it! And yes, since you can see these, I am ok and nothing happened…
I arrived at 10 at the BMW garage to have my breakfast and to hear what was finally wrong with the bike. It’s even another part of the driveshaft that had a 0,5mm play and thus mad the noise. I’m happy they fixed it now, so I finally left the BMW dealership of Ljubljana around noon the next day and I was so happy that my bike was working again… I’m just keeping good hold of the invoices for the repairs that did cost me 500€ as I “will” get refunded by BMW Antwerp! Anyways, on the road again!
So from Ljubljana I went straight for Zagreb using all the small country roads. In the end I did not do a single mile on a Slovenian highway, so I don’t even know what they look like… Arriving at the border with Croatia I forgot that I had to show them my passport so needed to try and find it somewhere in the panniers of the bike. In the end I found it as the borderguys came out to check the bike. They just put a stamp in my passport and off I was… took like 5 seconds. Eat this Transnistria. Eat this Russia. Ha! Well, as I needed to put everything back and in the meantime some cars were waiting behind me I moved out of the way. 2 seconds later the borderguy comes again with a sticker of Croatia and puts it on my pannier. Saves me the trouble and the money to find one later! thank you! I arrive in Zagreb and I still have 2 hours time so I walk around a bit, start talking to people that are intersted to know where I come from with the bike and where I am going to etc.
Later I meet with Nicolas, a french motorcycle dude who invited me to have a ride together and I can stay at his place for the night also. So off we go all the way up the mountains to have this great view! Only thing, I did not take the camera with me so no pictures, sorry! I was happy to talk to another young guy with the same passion for a whole evening (and night).
Next day I leave rather early again to visit Plitvicka Jezera a really well known tourist attraction. Thanks to Nic I can see the stuff for free:
Also there is a open air museum telling the Croatian War, as it was only finished in 1995! You can still see here and there the damage if you go a bit off the beaten track:
At a certain point I stop to take a picture, that I won’t even display here as it was not worth it in the end. But shit happens (again and again): I get off the bike, put it on the side stand as usual, it is good so I open the pannier and take out my camera, walk away to take the picture, still have my music on and I hear a loud “bang”. I’m scared as hell as I think somebody is shooting at me or so… I turn around and I see this:
O, why o why do this always has to happen to me?! Why does the bike decide to just go by itself when I am 10 meters away? This bike has a ghost or so… everything is just going wrong all the time! And if you think that this is the end of it, you are wrong! I manage to get the bike up without pulling all the stuff from it, so who’s the king? 300+kg just by myself! Anyways, the bike is up, the camera that was fitted on the pannier is still on the ground and the pannier is looking at me in a strange distorted way… and I can’t close the lid anymore…pfffff….
There’s only one thing to do is to try to get the pannier more or less in it’s original shape so I can close the lid again. But I don’t have a hammer to kick the damn thing into place… so , let’s see how we can fix this. Oh, I know; I still have some glass bottle with the honey in it… idea… it works, but all the honey is going through the lid after a few smashes and my hands are all yellow and sticky of the sugar. But after a while the pannier looks a bit better, ie I can almost close the lid now without distorting the whole thing. the bad news is that the pannier is a bit loose now and that I can’t fix the camera anymore on it. But the camera still works, so yes it is solid!
After an hour I am good to go again so off we go…
What follows is a great road to the coast with some really good views and then all along the cost direction south east.
So, if all goes according to plan I will visit Mostar and Sarajevo tomorrow. If my ghostly bike permits is of course…
Ok, so I think I need to give you first some info before telling you what happend today:
When I bought last week the GSA from BMW it was a 2nd hand one, as a new one like this is above my paygrade. So after all the paperwork was done and so one, I finally left the dealership on wednesday with my “new” bike, happy as a little kid… untill I noticed there was something wrong with the bike. When I was braking it felt like the brakes where going on and off, instead of a linear braking. This could mean only one thing, that the brake disks are bend… So, I returned thursday to BMW to tell them about this. They checked it and yes, I was right, there was a problem that apparently nobody noticed before. They tell me that 99% of people wouldn’t even notice this. This is af course good for my ego, but that doesn’t resolve the situation. They needed to order new pieces for this so the bike stayed overnight and I got a replacement one. Next day they call that everything is fine and I can pick my bike up. They changed the two front brake disks, the rear one and the bearings in the rear wheel. Don’t ask.
So today I left Kranj in direction of Ljubljana going straight for the BMW dealership to check out the noise that I’ve been hearing and the fact that yesterday my bike just stalled twice for no reason when I was riding… a very interesting moment as you can imagine as I was in the mountains just in a hairpin and your bike just drops dead under you! Anyways, today, again the same thing! We arrive at BMW, where they tell us that we either wait for 2 hours or come back later, as they are fixing a bike from a Spanish guy first. Ok, so Vic and I go into town to do some tourist stuff.
When it’s 1300 we want to go back to BMW. We want to. My bike decides I won’t go. It’s just flat dead. Doesn’t do a sh#t! Ok my logical thinking wins it from my anger that my bike is parked right in the middle (!) of the main town square (the market) and that I need to work on it while everybody sees me… Since it sounds logical to me to be a electronical problem, I think that maybe the battery is no good anymore. Would be strange, since I just got it 7 days ago from BMW. I take mine out and replace it with Vic’s (that’s the cool thing of having the same bike while traveling!) and it start from the first go. Ok, so my “new” (?!) battery is already broken.
At that moment a guy stops and start talking to me if I have a problem. Well, yes, of course. I need a new battery. What follows is what I like about people when it matters most: he tells me to come with him and he’ll take me to a shop 6km further for a new one. I just leave everything there with Vic and follows this strange man in his car to destination unknown… Well, Slavko Horvat, you are my hero of the day as i know you’ll be reading this! He took me to a spare parts shop where he has an account from his company, got a new battery with a BIG discount for me and drove all the way back to town. I forced him to come and drink one after he looked for a parking spot for 10 minutes or so. ANd you know what? Actually his wife was working at the café where we parked our bikes and she saw that we were in trouble. She phoned him to say “honey, get here as there are two foreign bikers with problems” and he just came to rescue us. How unbelievably cool is that! Slavko, thank you again for having the heart in the right place!
So, electronical problem fixed, now that sound… we arrive at BMW, I explain him why we are way to late and he laughs at my misery… Well, he does a test drive with my bike and when he comes back, I just know it’s not ok from the look on his face. The problem seems to be in the driveshaft. What I thought but didn’t want to know. Anyways, he takes the oil out, or whatever that black smelly thing has become. Not good. Replaces it, checks some other stuff, all with the same result that it’s the driveshaft. Ok, so a new test drive after replacing the oil etc. Still not good but better. They can’t assure me that I will make it home like this. No way I drive my bike that is not 100%!!! So they need to order new parts as the bearings in the driveshaft are f#cked-up after only 22.000 km. Go figure… So first I phone to my BMW dealer in Antwerp to tell them that I am absolutely not pleased with what’s happening and that I will come to them with the bill from Ljubljana and that I expect to have a good chat about the history of the bike, as this is just too much! In 7 days time new brake disks, new wheel bearings, new battery, new driveshaft oil and new driveshaft bearings. I am forgive-full (or not?) but this is a bit to much for me under the circumstances. The bright thing is that the guys and girls here at BMW Ljubljana are great! I could leave all my stuff with them in the garage and they even gave me the directions for a hostel only a km or so away.
Anyway, so I am stuck here in Ljubljana at least for another day till the bike’s fixed. Of course Vic continued without me, as it is stupid that he’s doing also nothing here. We’ll (hopefully) meet again in Bosnia or Croatia, if my bike is willing of course…!!!
On a personal note, no I am not angry or whatever, I’m just a bit disappointed in my new bike, as it’s the “mondaybike” with a lot of issues apparently. With the other one I NEVER had ANY problem and with this it’s almost everything already. But the good thing is that I listen to my feelings and stopped on time… would have been an even more interesting story if that happened in Kosovo or Albania, no?
Ok, so you’re probably thinking “where is he?” So I thought I would give you an update of the last 1900km…
I ended up in the French Jura on saturday evening and had some fun getting there through the Departementales. Except that my friend the friendly-but-wet cloud has found me again…. so I had to put on my raingear.
The day after I left for Liechtenstein, but as my host for the day (a South African living in Liechtenstein) and I made RV at 1600 already, I had to hurry to get there. I had to hurry too much… and yes I git flashed at the end of a tunnel! Damn thing, I just hope they don’t send it to Belgium. But I think I will already have to save up some money for that.
Then the road leads to Switserland again through te Swiss Alps and then the Italian ones… Of course I did stop to get some pictures and enjoy the views:
From there I went more east again to meet with my new host for the night, Steph who is on holidays herself in Italy as she is currently living in Australia with her husband. I had the experience of a real Italian dinner and breakfast with mama, papa and Steph.
From there on more of La Bella Italia and then into Slovenia! Let’s say that I am really impressed by this small country! Now I know why they call it the Swiserland of the Balkans, but in my opinion it’s better than Switserland…! So beautiful and clean, I only met friendly people so far and I even managed to get the GSA inside in the hostel in Kranj (a small little nice city in Slovenia) after I fixed their front door that was broken. I also met up with Vic, a Luxemburger who is living in Belgium and we mailed before we left Belgium to meet up and ride along, as he will continue afterwards to Asia on his GS. So at least we are both not alone riding in the same area.
So now I’ll have some breakfast here in the Hostel runned by Peter, a friendly guy who has also seen a fair bit of the world and with whom I had some great chats yesterday evening. Then we’ll go to Ljubljana to visit the city and go to a BMW dealer as again I am “hearing noises” from my engine and it worries me. I’ll try to give you more and frequenter updates now, but the past few days were really exhausting and long days of riding through all these curves in the mountains.